Jamie Smith 540-387-5250

SAL 49

Aug. 28, 2013


SALEM – Both lanes of southbound Interstate 81 between mile markers 120 and 125 in Montgomery County near Blacksburg, Va., remain closed due to an unstable slope. As a safety precaution, traffic will be detoured until enough unstable material can be brought down to stabilize the slope.

Since Aug. 27, southbound I-81 traffic has been detoured off the interstate and onto Route 11/460 at mile marker 132 (Dixie Caverns) and then back onto I-81 at exit 118 (Christiansburg). The detour could remain in place as long as ten days.

The blast that took place at 9:30 a.m. today did not remove enough material to stabilize the slope. Throughout the day crews have used heavy equipment to remove material. If another blast is necessary, the date and time will be announced.

Crews have been blasting as part of work to repair an unstable slope near mile marker 124 on a project to construct a truck climbing lane in Montgomery County between mile markers 120 and 125.   During a scheduled blast on Monday, Aug. 26, an existing crack in the unstable slope increased from approximately 50 feet to 120 feet in length.  Geotechnical specialists reviewed the slope, and VDOT in the interest of public safety decided to close southbound Interstate 81.  

Signs and message boards will be in place to alert drivers.

Work on the truck climbing lane project is expected to be completed in November 2013.  For traffic information and updates, visit


Information in VDOT news releases was accurate at the time the release was published. For the most current information about projects or programs, please visit the project or program Web pages. You may find those by searching by keyword in the search Virginia DOT box above.

Page last modified: Aug. 28, 2013